Wood Group partnership to work on Iraqi water projects

Bob MacDonald of Wood Group.
Bob MacDonald of Wood Group.
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Wood Group, the Aberdeen-headquartered energy and engineering services giant, has struck a “ground-breaking partnership” to improve Iraq’s water infrastructure.

The tie-up with Biwater will see the pair work together to address acute water shortages in the war-torn country, beginning with the supply of water to the Basrah region.

Wood Group, which earlier this week reported full-year results, said the agreement between two major UK infrastructure firms demonstrated the scale of international interest and support in Iraq’s extensive reconstruction efforts. It follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the government of Iraq and UK Export Finance (UKEF) last March, to underwrite some £10 billion of infrastructure projects in the country over the next ten years.

Bob MacDonald, chief executive of Wood’s specialist technical solutions business, said: “We are proud to be offering our diverse capabilities and broad, innovative solutions to support a partnership that offers our continuing support to the redevelopment of Iraq as well as making a difference to millions of people. Our focus will be on providing safe and reliable water distribution ­systems to the Iraqi population. We look forward to working in partnership with Biwater, which is another ­significant step towards broadening our portfolio.”

Biwater’s chairman, Sir Adrian White, added: “I am delighted with this new partnership, which is another significant step forward in delivering our respective ambitions within the water industry. Biwater’s focus will be to work with Wood – applying the vast knowledge and expertise of both companies – to deliver on the immediate requirements for Iraq’s water infrastructure, especially that required by the Basrah governorate.”

On Tuesday, Wood Group said it expects to be busier in the North Sea in 2018 than last year after swinging to an overall loss due in part to costs related to its massive Amec Foster Wheeler (AFW) acquisition.

The group saw revenue jump by a quarter from 2016 to $6.17bn (£4.4bn), but it reported a pre-tax loss of $30 million, compared to a profit of $34.4m 12 months previously. The total dividend showed a 3 per cent year-on-year jump to reach 34.3 cents.

The group, which operates in more than 60 countries, said the loss for the period was stated after exceptional costs of $165m, including $67m relating to the £2.2bn AFW deal, which completed in October.